Form of an Awesome VHS Catalog Entry for The Shining

After yesterday’s Gravity Forms session led by Tom Woodward for Reclaim Edtech’s June Flex Course things started to click for me. I am starting to wrap my head around the basics of Gravity Forms. As mentioned in my last post on my Gravity Forms progress, I am building out a site for cataloging physical media. Yesterday’s session started with a Q&A which helped me understand some the necessary distinctions between standard fields in Gravity Forms versus advanced fields and post fields. Admittedly I’m slow, but it was not apparent to me which type of field to use when and why, and I’m glad I asked because I was missing a crucial piece of the puzzle. Namely that while the fields I’m using to collect data is part one of the process, part two is using the Advanced Post Creation add-on to translate and embed that data into a post. Simple enough, but that connection wasn’t happening until week 2 when it finally click for me. YEAH!

The remainder of this week’s session focused on how you can pull the data collected from the form into a post using Advanced Post Creation, which helped me understand when to translate data I collected into a post title vs. category vs. tag, etc. I spent much of today re-factoring my existing data collection approach, as well as adding more fields. I appreciated Alan offering advice in the comments of my last post, and I’m realizing that capturing the data in formats other than single text will be valuable for doing more with the data.

Screenshot of drop down field of Format of Movie media

Drop-down field of Format of Movie media

So, here’s where I am so far; I’ll try to be brief. After a few false-starts with creating categories using basic post fields to manage both the Film Genres and Media Type entries, I was reminded that any field I create in the form can be translated to a category or tag in the Advanced Post Creation tool, which loosened up my uptight thinking considerably. In fact, as a result I realized my Media Types were all wrong taxonomically. Rather than listing Book, VHS, DVD, Cassette, Magazine, Toy, etc. I need to go back a step and filter the media with more abstract types like Book, Movie, Magazine, Music, and Toy, and then start conditional logic for the movies based on that. So the next field is Media Format which included options for VHS, Betamax, DVD, Laserdisc, Selectavision, and Digital Copy (meaning those I have ripped, which may be a check box for the physical media moves?). Abstracting this made the conditional logic for all movie fields so much easier. I just say show these options for any Movies. Not sure I’m being clear here, so let’s take a look. I added the formats as a drop-down:

Screenshot of Drop-down of Format types for Movies

Drop-down field of Format types for Movies

And thanks to abstracting Media Type out from including formatting, as I did in my last post, I am able to have simply one entry for conditional logic, all Media that is Movies will see the Formats drop-down option. Golden!

Screenshot of Conditional Logic of Format field for movie media type

Conditional Logic of Format field for movie media type

That made adding additional fields like Language, Region, Aspect Ratio, Subtitles, Director, and Extras quite quick and easy:

Screenshot of the full form for entering data into the bavaLibrary for a movie

Full form for entering data into the bavaLibrary for a movie

I also included a Media Image field to upload a picture of the physical media, which is kind of cool. Once I had these fields I then turned to the Advanced Post Creator and pulled the fields into a WordPress post using the merge tool that allows you to select fields to pull in, like I can pull title and date into the Post Title, and then each of the other data points in, being sure to add some titles above each of the fields, kinda looking like this:

Screenshot of various elements of the Advanced Post Creator add-on for Gravity Forms

The Advanced Post Creator add-on for Gravity Forms

You’ll notice you can have multiple fields in the title, and then I am just separating the other data using OG HTML titles. Also, I figured out that taking the form fields and then translating them into tags and categories is pretty easy as well thanks to Advanced Post Creation. The final piece was getting my image to display, and I originally was running into issues cause it was only bringing in the URL, but like with the titles after wrapping the merge tag {Media Image:34} in an img src= HTML wrapper it worked cleanly, and my entry for an Italian VHS tape of The Shining looked something like this.

Screenshot of the bavLibraries first entry for the VHS tape of The Shining

The bavLibraries first entry for the VHS tape of The Shining

I am happy!

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6 Responses to Form of an Awesome VHS Catalog Entry for The Shining

  1. Alan Levine says:

    “Here’s Gravity Forms!”

    That’s looking good. But if you are making things like Genre into a tag, why not hyperlink your output so you can see all Horror, e.g. (not sure how html will come through in comments)

    <h4>Genre</h4>
    <a href=”/tag/{Film Genre:21}”>{Film Genre:21}</a>

    • Reverend says:

      I just tried this and it worked well for one-word categories like horror, but seems the two word tag like stanley kubrick does not include the “-” between the words so the link breaks. What simple thing am I missing?

  2. Pingback: Adding Gravity Form Merge Field Modifiers – Bionic Teaching

  3. Tom says:

    This is the javascript version that would fix that. The Gravity Form solution is better but I thought this was kind of amusing.

    • Reverend says:

      What I like about this is the many ways to skin a cat idea. I will play with this if only to remind myself how to get javascript playing well in this. I did figure out the plugin you wrote about thanks to you, and a future post will break that down and hopefully explore the javascript option as well. Rich as kings!

  4. Pingback: bavaLibrary Progress: a Form of Awesome Production | bavatuesdays

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